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Athletics

Lady Penelope

master brummie
My Uncle Will belonged to the Dolobran Athletic Club which I understand was in Sparkbrook. I'm sure I have some photos somewhere of displays etc so hope I can find them. I also have some medals. He would be 117 now.
 

Pedrocut

Master Barmy
My Uncle Will belonged to the Dolobran Athletic Club which I understand was in Sparkbrook. I'm sure I have some photos somewhere of displays etc so hope I can find them. I also have some medals. He would be 117 now.
What was his surname? There are a few mentions of the Club.
 

Lady Penelope

master brummie
William Henry Woolley. I think the only the place the photos can be is in the loft so will have a look. I've tried everywhere else and can only find one.
 

Lady Penelope

master brummie
So far so good - I've found the medals.
The first one is a silver medal and the inscription on the front top reads - Birmingham Dolobran and underneath what I think is Pegasus, reads Youths & Mission Championships 1920 William H Woolley
 

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Lady Penelope

master brummie
Third one: Across the top Birmingham Dolobran and under B.D.A.C. One the reverse Youths & Mission 1920 Drill Competition
First William H Woolley. This and the previous one are in the original cases, this one from Vaughtons Ltd, Goldsmiths & Silversmiths, Birmingham.
 

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Lady Penelope

master brummie
Final One, also in Vaughtons Case. Birmingham & District Amateur Gymnastic Association. This ones nice as it has clubs and dumbbells at the top and rings at the bottom. Reverse reads - Indiv. Champ Second Grade 1924 - 25 Winner.
 

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Pedrocut

Master Barmy
Unfortunately the Archives online for the Birmingham papers do no include 1919 to 1930, and so I can't see any mention of W Woolley. However the years may be covered at a later date.

The Dolbran Athletic Cub seems to have started in 1884 and by 1900 had grown to 700 members, the President was Barrow Cadbury whose family supported the Club. They moved to the Friends Institute in 1900 and used the basement as a gymnasium, which was used for the first international athletics meeting between England, Ireland and Scotland in March 1900. The Institute was used for the 1926 annual meeting of the BDGA, and it may have been used for training of the 1936 Olympic team.

There are a few mentions in other papers for the period that show that the Club gave demonstrations in many parts of at least the Midlands, including "marching evolutions".

https://www.birminghampost.co.uk/news/local-news/friends-institute-quaker-building-moseley-7888935

A 1925 medal for sale...

https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/1925-solid-silver-enamel-athletics-513919797
 

Lady Penelope

master brummie
Thank you for that information Pedrocut.
I've found a few notes about the Birmingham Athletic Club and Birmingham Athletic Institute. I'm sure I shall find some more as I sort out my mound of papers.
BAI opening in John Bright Street in 1892 although it was founded in 1866.
BAC - I have a strange note which reads 'Poultry Bay was used and equipped' - any ideas?
Sports ground at Portland Road.
1880 Team visited Frankfort on the Main.
BAI advertised that boxers would find the athletes course beneficial.
Lastly I took a picture last year of the only building I could find still standing with a connection to the BAC. Charley Norton, the boxer, was an instructor there before he emigrated. I can't remember the name of the pub that was there before the Fancy Silk Store although 'The Vine' comes to mind. The gym was upstairs. Perhaps someone can put me right please?
 

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mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
The announcement about the opening in the poultry bay was mentioned in the Birmingham 150 years ago thread some months ago, as was an earlier attempt a year or so before to form an athletics club, which was unsuccessful
 

Lady Penelope

master brummie
Just had a massive sort-out of paperwork and found these cuttings of Norman Edwards' Cartoons. Norman lived in our house in the 1930's and left his own cartoon on the wall, duly signed. Pity it's under the wallpaper!
 

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